The other day, I saw photos from a popular Instagram hiking account that stopped me mid-scroll. Gorgeous mountaintops and lovely valleys. Stunning. 

Man, I wanna go.

It took me .5 seconds to realize that the photos were of Peru, and uh… I’ve been there. 

Yet, my first thought was still, why doesn’t my life look like that?

I suspect this belief comes from the fact that my life is, at times, like Instagram. I’ve taken trips to beautiful places and eaten amazing meals. 

It just doesn’t look the same…

I’m falling for two traps.

First, you can’t underestimate good lighting and editing.

Second, and more importantly, you can’t compare your life to anyone else’s.

I see photos on Instagram and think of all the places I haven’t visited instead of all the places that I have. I wish I could travel the world like her.

But as I took a second look at those stunning photos of Peru, I realized I had taken a photo near the same spot when I was there.

Can you tell which one is from @hikingtheglobe?

Now that comparison gave me a good laugh. 

But it also made me realize: the stunning photo doesn’t do it justice.

As perfect as the composition and editing are, they still fall short. 

They don’t even begin to capture the sheer beauty of the mountains or the rewarding feeling of climbing to the top of the ridge on the toughest day of our trek. 

I’m comparing my crappy photos to beautiful ones when my life is more beautiful than any photo.

I’m human, and I’m sure I’ll fall for these traps again.

But the next time I’m scrolling and see a photo of a beautiful mountain range at sunset and start to feel a twinge of jealousy, I’ll at least make sure I haven’t been there first.

To being better without the smoothie pics to prove it,



And just for fun, here’s one more:

Photo credit on the left (duh) to @hikingtheglobe.